Blackpool rivals Portsmouth have been dealt a huge blow ahead of the Seasiders’ upcoming trip to the south coast.
Neil Critchley’s men head to Fratton Park later this month, with their hosts top of the table and unbeaten in the league since March.
John Mousinho’s troops are currently 12 points better off than Blackpool after Saturday’s round of fixtures which saw the Tangerines lose 1-0 at Bolton and Portsmouth held at home to a 2-2 draw by Charlton.
The Blues conceded their 2-1 advantage to the Addicks on 90 minutes, with Connor McGrandles making the most of some sloppy defending and goalkeeping. Portsmouth then revealed another disappointment soon after the final whistle when it was announced that star defender Regan Poole will miss the rest of the season with an anterior cruciate ligament injury.
The Wales international, who arrived on a free transfer from Lincoln in the summer, has been an influential figure in the meanest defence in the division to date. In the 16 games the 25-year-old has played this season, Portsmouth have kept six clean sheets and conceded just 12 goals.
His absence will come as a boost to Blackpool as they look to break in and maintain a place in the play-offs and above.
Jordan Rhodes is the Seasiders’ top scorer at present with nine league goals. Critchley should also be able to call upon former Pompey target Kyle Joseph for the game at Fratton Park and, of course, Shrewsbury next weekend after he came off the bench against Bolton on Saturday.
The forward made his league debut for Blackpool after picking up a hamstring injury in August.
Incidentally, Blackpool have won on each of their past three visits to Fratton Park.